Philippine businessmen are ready to invest about US$35m in the development of the Indonesian fish processing sector, Freddy Numberi, Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime and Fishery Affairs, has said.

According to a report by Asia Pulse, Numberi said that the investment plan formed part of a cooperation agreement between the two countries. “The development of the fishery industry is expected to absorb a lot of Indonesian workers,” Numberi said.

At the end of 2005, the Indonesian Government terminated a cooperation agreement over fishing operations with the Philippines and replaced that deal with an investment programme, Numberi added.

According to the terms of that deal, foreign countries are allowed to catch fish in Indonesian waters as long as they invest in fish processing plants in Indonesia and sell their catch to the Indonesian fish-processing industry.